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Anna and the King of Siam de Margaret Landon
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Anna and the King of Siam (1943)

de Margaret Landon (Autor), Margaret Ayer (Il·lustrador)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
7872120,716 (3.53)43
Anna Leonowens, a proper Englishwoman, was an unlikely candidate to change the course of Siamese (Thai) history. A young widow and mother, her services were engaged in the 1860's by King Mongkut of Siam to help him communicate with foreign governments and be the tutor to his children and favored concubines. Stepping off the steamer from London, Anna found herself in an exotic land she could have only dreamed. It was a lush landscape of mystic faiths and curious people, and king's palace bustling with royal pageantry, ancient custom, and harems. One of her pupils, the young prince Chulalongkorn, was particularly influenced by Leonowens and her Western ideals. He learned about Abraham Lincoln and the tenets of democracy from her, and years later he would become Siam's most progressive king. He guided the country's transformation from a feudal state to a modern society, abolishing slavery and making many other radical reforms. Weaving meticulously researched facts with beautifully imagined scenes, Margret Landon recreates an unforgettable portrait of life in a forgotten exotic land. Written more than fifty years ago, and translated into dozens of languages, Anna and the King of Siam (the inspiration for the magical play and film The King and I)continues to delight and enchant readers around the world.… (més)
Membre:Bibajima
Títol:Anna and the King of Siam
Autors:Margaret Landon (Autor)
Altres autors:Margaret Ayer (Il·lustrador)
Informació:International Collector's Library, 442 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

Anna and the King of Siam de Margaret Landon (1943)

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» Mira també 43 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 21 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I first read this story many years, ago. I did a quick reread just before we went to see the musical. I still like it. ( )
  readingbeader | Oct 29, 2020 |
Curious to find out which parts were exaggerated ( )
  hatingongodot | May 3, 2020 |
I wanted to like this book so badly. One of my favorite musicals of all time is The King and I. I love the story, the characters, and Anna's immersion into Siamese culture, which is so vastly different from her own. I wanted desperately to learn the true story behind the story.

However, this book is nothing like the musical (which is often the case), but in a bad way.

The story dragged on and on with nothing happening. The flashbacks to Anna's early life served very little purpose. Anna's reactions to Siamese culture were overdone. Naturally, she had strong opinions and beliefs, and was offended by some of the questions, but she was quite stuck-up about a lot of things. And offended quite often. Not just by slavery or whippings, either, but over simple questions, such as how long she'd been married, etc.

The book just didn't resonate with me. I found Anna to be dull, dry, and irritating. ( )
  book_lady15 | Apr 3, 2020 |
In 1862, recently widowed and with two small children to support, British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens agrees to serve as governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam (present-day Thailand), unaware that her years in the royal palace will change not only her own life, but also the future of a nation. Her relationship with King Mongkut, famously portrayed by Yul Brynner in the classic film The King and I, is complicated from the start, pitting two headstrong personalities against each other: While the king favors tradition, Anna embraces change.

As governess, Anna often finds herself at cross-purposes, marveling at the foreign customs, fascinating people, and striking landscape of the kingdom and its harems, while simultaneously trying to influence her pupils—especially young Prince Chulalongkorn—with her Western ideals and values. Years later, as king, this very influence leads Chulalongkorn to abolish slavery in Siam and introduce democratic reform based on the ideas of freedom and human dignity he first learned from his beloved tutor.
  Gmomaj | Nov 20, 2019 |
Although Landon based her book on autobiographies by Anna Leonowens buttressed by research, she has fictionalized a great deal of dialogue and events.
Further, the musical play & derivative films changed and even invented several key episodes, notably the court production of "The Little House of Uncle Tom" (although one of the ladies did become attached to Stowe's book and added the American's name to her own); and the suggested romance between the King and Anna (although he early on offered to add her to his harem, she declined, and their relationship was a prickly one of alternating respect and anger). Also, Anna had left Siam before the King died, so there was no poignant deathbed scene.
However, Anna's stated goal to influence Prince Chulalonghorn as the primary justification for her suffering (interspersed as it was with happier occasions) seems to have been validated by his actions as King.

Landon's final chapter, which is really an historical afterward, asserts that "The English Lady" was still remembered after many years, possibly up to the time of her writing; it would be interesting to see if that still holds true, now that most or all of the Thai principals are deceased.

Mem Anna's "viewpoint" is definitely influenced by the author's early 20th century sensibilities, and she is working from a source that is already having trouble interpreting Siamese culture and psychology.
However, the anecdotes in themselves are interesting as at least a taste of what Mrs. Leonowen's was experiencing.
She has the usual blinders, seeing Thai customs as exotic and barbaric (they were), but blithely sailing past many deplorable European actions and habits (she does mention the particularly vile Frenchmen, but fails to connect their behavior to "vile" Siamese).
Landon has some curious authorial quirks that were irritating, especially her failure to provide timely information. For example, Anna is said to have two children, then she disembarks at Bangkok with only one of them; that the daughter is sailing for England for school is only mentioned many pages later.
Similarly, Anna's faithful maid Beebe is mentioned in almost every chapter, sometimes in a major way, until the end of the book, when she unaccountably disappears completely, without the reader being told when she left or where she went.

As is common in almost every book I have read, with a very few exceptions, many of the places named are not on the maps, which include locations never mentioned in the book.

(reading dates include 3 week hiatus during vacation) ( )
  librisissimo | Nov 6, 2019 |
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To the memory of my sister Evangeline Mortenson Welsh

Her spirit burned away the flesh
Until its calm and lovely light
Became a beacon on the way
Where pilgrims warmed their hearts at night.
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The Siamese steamer Chow Phya, most modern of the ships plying between Singapore and Bangkok, came to anchor outside the bar at the mouth of the River Chow Phya.
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Anna and the King of Siam is also published in an abridged version with illustrations, and a juvenile work Anna and the King.
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

Anna Leonowens, a proper Englishwoman, was an unlikely candidate to change the course of Siamese (Thai) history. A young widow and mother, her services were engaged in the 1860's by King Mongkut of Siam to help him communicate with foreign governments and be the tutor to his children and favored concubines. Stepping off the steamer from London, Anna found herself in an exotic land she could have only dreamed. It was a lush landscape of mystic faiths and curious people, and king's palace bustling with royal pageantry, ancient custom, and harems. One of her pupils, the young prince Chulalongkorn, was particularly influenced by Leonowens and her Western ideals. He learned about Abraham Lincoln and the tenets of democracy from her, and years later he would become Siam's most progressive king. He guided the country's transformation from a feudal state to a modern society, abolishing slavery and making many other radical reforms. Weaving meticulously researched facts with beautifully imagined scenes, Margret Landon recreates an unforgettable portrait of life in a forgotten exotic land. Written more than fifty years ago, and translated into dozens of languages, Anna and the King of Siam (the inspiration for the magical play and film The King and I)continues to delight and enchant readers around the world.

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